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Jinnah Row: Inquiry Into Hindu Yuva Vahini Violence On AMU Campus

Activists were demanding removal of Muhammad Ali Jinnah's portrait from students’ union office.

The Aligarh district administration on Thursday ordered an inquiry into how ABVP members managed to enter the Aligarh Muslim University campus on Wednesday and who all were involved in pulling in the crowd. The DM also said they are probing the role of the police, Network 18 reported.

Around 28 students were injured after police resorted to lathicharge at the AMU campus on Wednesday. The violence allegedly broke out after right-wing activists barged into the campus and sought removal of the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah from the students’ union office. Police had to use teargas shells to contain the agitating students, who were demanding the arrest of activists from the Hindu Yuva Vahini.

The Vahini is a “Hindu” vigilante group founded in 2002 by Yogi Adityanath, who is now the CM of Uttar Pradesh. In a surprising development, veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar said it is “shameful” that the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah hangs in AMU. While speaking to India Today, CM Adityanath noted that he has ordered a detailed inquiry, adding that “Respect cannot be bestowed upon Jinnah in India.”

Here are the developments related to the AMU-Jinnah row:

1. AMU students alleged that men from Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), a right-wing organisation, entered the campus on Wednesday afternoon and clashed with university students injuring at least 28, according to NDTV. AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said, “Right-wing activists reached the university gate, raised objectionable slogans, burnt effigies and manhandled half-a-dozen security guards. Around a dozen AMU students, including the student union president, were injured in police action.”

2. According to Hindustan Times, the protesters allegedly shouted slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jinnah Murdabad” and asked the university to remove Jinnah’s portrait at the Students’ Union Hall within 48 hours.

3. AMU has registered a complaint against activists belonging to the Hindu Yuva Vahini for the ruckus on campus.

4. Police detained the right-wing activists but they were later “rescued” by other protesters, said AMU students.

5. After the detention, hundreds of AMU students tried to march to the local police station, where the activists were confined. Unable to control them, the RAF men used force, sources told NDTV.

6. Aligarh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Satish Gautam had written to AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor questioning the presence of Jinnah’s portrait in the university.

7. According to India Today, Kidwai said that Jinnah was a founder member of the University Court and was granted life membership of the students’ union.

8. In an interview on Thursday, Adityanath said that he has ordered an inquiry. “Jinnah ka samman Bharat ke andar nahi ho sakta hai. Vibhajan ka karan Jinnah hai  (Jinnah cannot be respected in this country. He is responsible for Partition),” Adityanath said. 

9. NDTV reported that UP minister Swami Prasad Maurya, formerly with the BSP, questioned the controversy over Mr Jinnah. “It is shameful for anyone to point a finger at great leaders who contributed towards nation-building,” he said in a statement.

10. Javed Akhtar posted a tweet on Thursday saying it is “shameful” that the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah hangs in AMU but people, who are protesting against it, should also oppose the “temples made to honour Godse”.

11. Contrary to reports doing rounds on social media, Jinnah’s portrait in the AMU campus dates back to before the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan; it has been hanging for 80 years, The Wire mentioned. 

12. Veteran journalist Saba Naqvi tweeted that “AMU Students’ Union president says ABVP came to attack Hamid Ansari staying at (the AMU) guest house and raised slogans against Muslims. It was not about Jinnah, they say. They suggest media talk to them and faculty before running stories.”

13. Aligarh DM ordered a detailed inquiry on the role of right-wing activists and police.

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